Start Spreading the Dues
Charging cars to enter city could loosen New York’s traffic jams
Charging drivers a fee to enter the city center succeeded in ameliorating traffic woes in London — but can the concept make it on the mean streets of New York, N.Y.? ‘Cause if you can make it there … oh, never mind. The Partnership for New York City, an influential business association, thinks “congestion pricing” for Gotham is just the ticket, and it’s been working quietly for months to sell Mayor Mike Bloomberg (R) on the idea. A new report from the group suggests charging $7 per car during peak hours to encourage folks to use mass transit or car pool. In London, where the daylong flat fee is $14, car congestion has lessened by one-third, some bus routes are running twice as fast, and there have been significant drops in air pollution. Bloomberg’s office says congestion pricing isn’t on his second-term agenda, but a NYC traffic commissioner backs the idea.